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U.K. Theme Cruises
Home > Cruise Styles > Group & Theme Cruises > U.K. Theme Cruises
Are you fascinated by photography, inspired by culinary stars, or an avid ballroom dancer or fitness buff? Then chances are quite good that there's a cruise with your name on it. Hobbyists cruises, in which lines and organizers offer planned activities in a breathtaking span of options -- which include tracking wildlife, indulging in Titanic-mania, vineyard-hopping to wine tastings and more -- are on the rise.

Themed cruises are more popular than ever, with a notable number of cruise virgins opting for them as an incentive to try a cruise. They may be worried about feeling trapped or isolated onboard, unable to relate to the seasoned cruiser, so a chance to immerse themselves in their passion with like-minded people can help them embrace a new type of vacation.

Before booking, be sure to research what type of theme cruise would suit you. The choices vary. You could opt for a block booking of cabins by a fan group, a series of lectures and workshops organised by the cruise line or even a full-ship charter, in which activities are fully centered on that trip's theme. The difference could mean anything from a diversion to keep your interest for a few hours a day to an all-encompassing adventure. As complements, all of these offer the usual in-port adventures.

This year's offerings are as dynamic as ever. From nude river cruises to radio soap operas, cruise operators and specialist holiday firms have something for everyone. Below is a selection of what is on offer for 2013, but please come and look again, as we will be updating the content on a regular basis. (And if you want us to include a trip that is not on the list, don't hesitate to contact us by e-mailing

Food & Wine Sport Nature and Ecology
Arts and Crafts Music Dance
History and World Affairs TV, Film and Radio Fitness and Well-Being

Food and Wine Cruises

The Theme: Sail the China Sea and indulge in the finest cuisine

Dates: 9th April 2014

Details: Enjoy the astonishing sights of the China Sea from the luxury of your own Crystal Cruises Cabin, as you set sail aboard the Crystal Symphony. From helicopter flights over the breathtaking city of Hong Kong, to guided tours of the imposing Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an, many shore excursions are available, allowing you to experience everything that this vaunted stretch of coastline has to offer. Remarkable memories won't be restricted to the shore however, as you will be sailing in the company of the Crystal Wine and Food festival, giving you access to master chiefs and wine experts, such as Fred Dame. As passengers travel from vibrant Hong Kong north to the famed cities of Shanghai and Beijing you will experience some of the best food, and greatest sights the ocean can offer.

Caveat: Remember to book shore excursions well in advance to really make the most of this fantastic journey!

The Theme: Enjoy the flavours of the Ancient World as you cruise the coast of Greece and Italy with Windstar Cruises

Dates:May 10th 2014

Details: Experience the scintillating cuisine and culture of the Mediterranean as this themed cruise from Wind Star Cruises carries you along the Greek and Amalfi Coastline. Along the way you will enjoy the vibrant culture of Rome, the sophisticated history of Athens, and even the ruins of mighty Sparta. As the fully rigged Wind Star calls in at these historic stops you will be able to head ashore and experience a famed food culture, and sample the delights it offers. Adding the Tastes and Traditions of the Mediterranean Excursion package to your booking will ensure you have access to an array of private tastings of world famous olives, oils, cheeses and wines, even as the ship calls in at cities brimming with fine restaurants and cafes, meaning your every culinary desire will be satisfied. This cruise will fully immerse you in the landscape, food and history of the cradle of European civilisation.

Caveat: Be sure to book the Tastes and Traditions of the Mediterranean Excursion package in plenty of time. BR>

The Theme: Discover the famed food and wine of the Lower Loire and historic Lisbon with Azamara Club Cruises.

Dates:20th August 2014.

Details: Foodies and travellers combine on this cruise of a stretch of coast famed for its superb food and wines. Sailing from Southampton aboard the Azamara Journey , you will explore the cheeses, seafood and wines of Nantes and Bordeaux, before indulging in rich Rioja and tapas in scenic Bilbao. Along your route, as you sail south to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon with Azamara Club Cruises, you will be able to head ashore for many wonderful excursions, such as wine tasting in St. Emilion, visits to the Port Lodges of Lisbon or walks along the highest sand dunes in Europe in Arcachon. And with complimentary evening events, and professional butlers for suite passengers, your time onboard will be spent in just as much luxury as your time ashore. A must for all food and wine enthusiasts, this cruise will allow you to see the full glory of this culinary heaven, and enjoy all its edible delights.

Caveat: Remember to pack a few warm items, as the bay of Biscay can be cold and windy at times.

The Theme: Explore Latin America in the company of Crystal Cruises Food and Drink festival.

Dates: 14th February 2016.

Details: The coastline of South America is a beautiful and varied place, and now Crystal Cruises offers you the chance to see it in all its glory, from the comfort of your cabin surrounded by the delicacies of the Crystal Wine and Food Festival. While aboard the Crystal Symphony you will sail from the beautiful city of Valparaíso in Chile, famed for its flowers and vibrancy, all the way up the western coast of South America, passing through the Panama Canal before traversing the Caribbean and reaching the sundrenched city of Miami. You will be able to head ashore and enjoy the immersive beauty of the Caribbean, from the sweltering heat of the rainforests, to the idyllic white sands of the island of Jamaica. Crystal Cruises will also treat you with a food themed festival while aboard, meaning you can while away your evenings in this tropical paradise in true luxury, with renowned chefs, sommeliers and culinary experts travelling with you to create a memorable food experience. A rare chance to discover a fascinating facet of the world and delicious cuisine, this cruise is not to be missed.

Caveat: Remember to pack your formal evening wear to participate fully in the ship's evening meals

Sport Cruises

The Theme: Get Set for the Monaco Grand Prix with Azamara.

Dates: 19 May 2014.

Details: Arrive in Monaco for ‘Race Sunday' in the most glamorous way possible. Sail into the city aboard the Azamara Journey and mingle with the celebrity crowds while checking out the premier class machinery that gathers for the competition that is known as the peak of motorsports. This will be the 72nd Grand Prix of Monaco – a prestigious event that, every year, draws the cream of the crop to compete and to spectate. This eight night cruise also stops off in the luxurious and exclusive resort of St. Tropez, with visits to San Remo, Cannes, Barcelona and Rome (via Civitavecchia) also planned for the voyage. The deal includes return flights from the UK, but tickets to watch the Grand Prix itself will need to be added later.

Caveat: Interested passengers are advised to book sooner rather than later, as interest in this cruise is usually very high.

The Theme: Cruise of the Italian coast, and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix with Wind Star cruises

Dates: May 20th 2014.

Details: An ideal cruise for motorsport enthusiasts, Wind Star Cruises offers the chance to add a dream excursion to the glamorous Monte Carlo Grand Prix, to its already superb cruise of the Italian coastline. Sailing aboard the Wind Surf, you will experience the waters of St. Tropez, the class of Monte Carlo and the historic beauty of Rome, the Eternal City, and all that Italy has to offer. From nights spend in Monaco's Grand Casino, deck top barbeques at Portofino and tours of the Vatican, this cruise offers an ideal chance to see some of the greatest sights in the world. What is more, with the Grand Prix package, guests will be able to attend an exclusive cocktail party, rubbing shoulders with race experts and aficionados, leave with a Grand Prix themed gift package, and have tickets to both the race and time trials included in the price. This is a once in a lifetime chance for Formula One fans to experience the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in more than appropriate style! .

Caveat: Remember to pack your formal evening wear to participate fully in the ship's evening itinerary!

The Theme: Explore the coastline and golf courses of great Britain with Crystal Cruises.

Dates:25th July 2015.

Details: In a round trip setting sail from London's historic port, this cruise offers you the chance to take in the rugged and wild coastline of the United Kingdom. From the Channel Islands to Waterford, Holyhead to Greenock, Dublin to Portland, this cruise will shine a light into every nook and cranny of this remarkable coastline, allowing you to see these islands from a rare perspective. What is more, while aboard the Crystal Serenity you will be able to enjoy Crystal Cruises Golf theme pack, allowing you to step ashore and enjoy some of the world's finest golf courses, all in the company of PGA experts who will chat and help you hone your game. For when you're off the golf course there are many shore excursions for you to enjoy. Travellers can visit the historic Tower of London, see the Channel Islands from a speeding RIB, play a round of gold at Waterford's Faithlegg Golf Course and visit the Jameson's Distillery and Guinness Brewery in Dublin. This cruise gives travellers a chance to experience the many varied dimensions of British culture, cuisine, sport and history, and is not to be missed!

Caveat:Remember to dress appropriately for the UK's top gold courses to avoid disappointment.

The Theme: Experience the rich culture of the British Isles on this golf themed Cruise with Crystal Cruises.

Dates: 17 August 2014.

Details: Discover the rich heritage and history of the British Isles from a whole new vantage point, as Crystal Cruises offers you the chance to cruise the lochs, rivers and coastline of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Island. Even more than this, you will be able to explore and enjoy the cradle of golf with Crystal Cruises Golf themed cruises, stepping ashore to play on some of the most famed courses in the world, while PGA experts hold talks on board. During this cruise the Crystal Symphony will sail from Dover and thread its way up through the Irish Sea, calling at Guernsey, Waterford, Holyhead and Liverpool amongst other ports as she sails to Dublin. Along the way you will be able to see feudal Sark by horse drawn carriage, wander the corridors of sumptuous stately manors, walk the rugged mountains of North Wales and enjoy a round of gold at Carden Park. A rare chance to see the British Isles in all their rugged splendour this cruise is a must for golf lovers.

Caveat: Remember to pack clothing appropriate for wearing on the prestigious gold courses!

The Theme: Tee off with Crystal Cruises for a Taste of the British Isles.

Dates: 24 August, 2014.

Details: Here's an opportunity for book early for a summer's cruise that takes in some of the best golfing destinations around the UK and Ireland. Passengers on the Crystal Symphony can look forward to visiting ports in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Guernsey, where they will be accompanied by PGA trainer, John Clark, who will help them to get the best out of the country's golf courses. They will also be joined on the cruise by the famous American golfer ‘Billy' Casper, who will regale audiences with anecdotes from his time working with golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, as well as from his stint captaining the 1979 US Ryder Cup team.

Caveat: Non golfers needn't despair! A full and varied alternative itinerary is available for those not keen on hitting the fairways.

Nature and Ecology Cruises

The Theme: Explore the majestic waters of Alaska with Un-Cruise Adventures.

Dates: May 24th 2014

Details: An opportunity to experience a true adventure, this cruise aboard Un-Cruise Adventures' Wilderness Discoverer , enables passengers to get to grips with some of the world's most spectacular landscapes. Sailing from Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island to Juneau, the cruise will take in the spectacular wilderness, or "skootum" of Alaska, and gives adventurers the chance of spotting sea lions, eagles and whales in their natural habitat. Not an excursion for the faint of heart, passengers will be able to paddleboard, kayak and skiff their way through a tapestry of inlets and islands, explore caves and even witness the birth, or calving, of mighty glaciers from the Dawes Glacier. A cruise which will immerse you in the nature and culture of this scenic land, from the whales of Frederick Sound to the totem carving school at Klawock, a village of the native Tlingit people, this is a must for any adventurer.

Caveat: Remember to wrap up warm for this cruise!

The Theme: Experience the wildlife and landscape of wild Siberia with Silversea Expeditions.

Dates: 14 June 2014.

Details: There are few locations in the world which summon up the images of raw, savage beauty like Siberia. This wild and rugged landscape is usually far beyond the reach of travellers, but thanks to Silversea Expeditions, those feeling adventurous can now experience the wildlife and landscape of this remote corner of Russia. Setting out from the Japanese port of Otaru aboard the newly revamped Silver Discoverer , your cruise will take you through the wilds of the Sea of Okhotsk, along the coast of Russia, calling at Korsakov, Iony Island and the mighty Kvachina River before completing the round trip and returning to Otaru. Along the journey, Silversea will offer you numerous expeditions allowing you to revel in the majestic wildlife of the region. You will see colonies of Fulmars, and Puffins clinging to craggy rock faces, explore inlets and creeks by Zodiac looking for Arctic Foxes, Sea Otters and even bears and the seal colonies of Tuleniy Island, literally Seal Island in Russian. Keep your eyes peeled along the way for pods of whales basking in the pristine waters and even the rare Steller's Sea Eagle overhead. Wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers or adventurers will jump at this opportunity to explore a wild and beautiful corner of the globe.

Caveat:Remember to pack warmly for the frosty temperatures of the Sea of Okhotsk!

The Theme: Watch Polar Bears in their Natural Habitat with Hurtigruten.

Dates: 23 July 2014.

Details: Hurtigruten have gained a reputation for taking their passengers beyond the parameters of a traditional cruise, bringing out the adventurer in everyone and getting people closer to some of the landscapes and wildlife of a selection of inspiring destinations. This cruise gives passengers aboard Hurtigruten's Fram the opportunity to get up close to polar bears in their own habitat; the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago. The voyage, which takes in glaciers, rugged cliffs and icy landscapes, as well as the unusual spectacle of the midnight sun, will circumnavigate the island, giving excellent opportunities to observe the local wildlife, as well as to learn about it from an expert who will accompany passengers onboard.

Caveat: The cruise's planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions. Passengers are advised to bring warm wind and water resistant clothing as well as sturdy footwear and a small backpack.

Arts and Crafts Cruises

The Theme: Experience the art and history of Italy with Crystal Cruises.

Dates: 18 May 2014.

Details: Crystal Cruises presents you with a chance to sail through the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean and view some of the most beautiful cities on earth and experience their rich and varied history, as well as some of their most beautiful art. Aboard the Crystal Serenity you will sail from the winding canals of Venice to Barcelona, calling at the majestic cities of Rome, Florence and Monte Carlo where you will be immersed in Italy's Imperial past. With Crystal Cruises Gladiators and Empires package, you will learn all about the majesty of Rome's past, as well as the impact the Empire and Republics had upon the development of Italy's art, architecture and culture, and throughout your voyage you will have many opportunities to see that art. Whether you are cruising the canals of Venice by gondola, discovering the glass works of Murano, or walking the famed corridors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, a whole world full of style and history is open to you on this cruise, which is a must for art lovers.

Caveat: Italy is very warm at this time of year, so sunglasses and suntan lotion are a must!

The Theme: Discover the art of the Mediterranean with Azamara Club Cruises .

Dates:3 September 2014.

Details: Set off with Azamara Club Cruises across the topaz waters of the Mediterranean, and experience the finest art the European continent has to offer. While aboard the sumptuous Azamara Journey, complete with butler service and a rich array of delicious wines and spirits, you will sail from elegant Lisbon to lively Barcelona, experiencing storied Gibraltar, grand Carcassonne and sun drenched Cadiz on the way. The artistic and cultural splendours along the voyage are varied and beautiful. From the ancient watchtowers of Cadiz overlooking the sea, the Dali Museum in Figueres and Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences, to the soaring splendour of Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia, a rich display of art and history will be yours to experience. You will also, thanks to Azamara's Evening itinerary, be able to head ashore at Gibraltar to the stalactite rich St. Michaels Cave, where the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band shall perform for you as you enjoy a fine meal and wine in stunning surroundings. A treat for all the senses, this cruise will immerse you in some of the finest art and culture the world has to offer.

Caveat: Remember to pack your formal evening wear to participate fully in the ship's evening itinerary!

Music Cruises

The Theme: Swing into Summer with a Rat Pack themed Cruise.

Dates: 1 July 2014.

Details: Here's a chance for fans of the classic crooners of the 1950s and 60s to experience for themselves the glamour of the Rat Pack with this themed music cruise from Saga. Passengers on the Saga Sapphire can relive the golden years of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra with music, drinks and dancing. The destination is a classic one, with passengers getting to enjoy the sights of the Norwegian Fjords – with planned visits to Bergen, Olden, Flam and Stavanger included in the trip.

Caveat: Make sure to bring appropriate attire for the Fjords at the dtart of summer.

The Theme: Immerse yourself in the classical music history of the Danube with Lüftner Cruises

Dates:October 30th 2014

Details: Indulge in the rich musical legacy of the River Danube, as this river cruise takes you through the beautiful heart of Europe. Aboard Lüftner Cruises' elegant Amadeus Brilliant, you will travel the waterways of Austria and Hungary, taking in the imperial splendour of Budapest and Vienna. A skilled musical ensemble shall be present on board, providing regular concerts, which will be augmented by an informative and enlightening lecture, allowing passengers to learn every aspect of the regions unique musical history. When heading ashore, passengers can tour the grand cities of Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest, visit the rococo masterpiece that is Schoenbrunn Palace, and experience the “Celebration of the Great Masters” excursion, allowing you to discover the Danube's Musical Maestros. A must for music lovers, this cruise gives you a glimpse into the lives of musical greats from Strauss to Mozart, all from the luxury of your cabin.

Caveat: Remember to pack your formal evening wear to participate fully in the ship's evening itinerary, and book shore excursions in advance.

The Theme: Enjoy the classical music of the Rhine with Lüftner Cruises

Dates: October 30th 2014.

Details: Cruise the picturesque waters of the mighty Rhine with Lüftner Cruises aboard the Amadeus Diamond, and take in the musical heritage of the great river. As this cruise takes you along the majestic waterway, from Basel in Switzerland all the way to the sea at old Amsterdam, you will experience the historic cities of Bonn, Cologne, Strasbourg and Koblenz, and your evenings will be filled with fine music, provided by our onboard ensemble. You will set off ashore and visit such remarkable locations as Beethoven's House in Bonn, experience live concerts in Strasbourg and Amsterdam and a wine tour through the vineyards of Alsace. With a superb array of hospitality and entertainment available onboard, with complimentary meals, wines and musical performances, this river cruise lets you enjoy the beauty of this iconic river in absolute style and comfort.

Caveat: Book shore excursions well in advance!

Dance Cruises

The Theme: Cruise the Mediterranean with P&O's fantastic Strictly Come Dancing Cruise.

Dates:20th April 2014

Details: See all of the sun drenched sights of the Mediterranean, and dance the nights away with P&O's Mediterranean Strictly Come Dancing Cruise. While island hopping the iconic islands of Madeira, La Palma and Gran Canaria aboard the Oriana you will be joined by a judge and two professional dancers from the hit BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing, who will perform and chat with lucky passengers. While on shore excursions you will be able to explore small but bustling Lisbon, walk the volcanic craters of La Palma and see Gran Canaria from the unique viewpoint of a camel's back. Life on board holds just as many delights for the passenger, as alongside inspiring performances from the professional dancers, the Oriana offers an array of entertainments, from casinos and restaurants to spas and boutique shops. This cruise is so full of activities and excursions, that even the most hardened dance fan may find themselves distracted.

Caveat:Sunglasses and sun lotion are a must on this Mediterranean idyll!

The Theme: Experience Crystal Cruises “Ballroom at Sea” en route from Lisbon to Miami

Dates:5th October 2014

Details: In a cruise harking back to the elegance of a bygone age, Crystal Cruises offers you the chance to sail aboard the aptly named Crystal Symphony , in the company of the Harry James Orchestra, allowing for nights of dancing on the ocean. As the ship sails from Lisbon to Miami, your evenings will be filled with lavish dances, lively band performances, and full tutelage, meaning that anyone from an experienced dancer to a complete novice can cut an elegant figure on the floor. While the nights will be filled with this decadence, the days will not miss out, as all manner of shore excursions, from walks through timeless Lisbon to deep sea fishing off Grand Turk, Diving and snorkelling, are available to make this trip a truly memorable experience. A chance to revel in the glamour of the ballroom, while crossing this iconic ocean, this cruise is not to be missed!

Caveat: Remember to pack your formal evening wear to participate fully in the ship's evening itinerary!

History and World Affairs Cruises

The Theme: Lively and Engaging Debate with Crystal Cruises.

Dates: 28 March 2014.

Details: Crystal Cruises' Ocean Views series has brought lively intellectual debate to the high seas, bringing together ambassadors, scholars and experts to discuss some of the world's most pressing questions. Global issues and current affairs will be the focal point of this cruise, with discussions, in-depth debates and lectures on the day's most prominent and interesting events. Special guests will include, amongst others, former chair of Political and International relations at the University of Cape Town - Robert Schrire, novelist Kathy Reichs and award winning journalist Ken Rees. Passengers on the Crystal Serenity will depart Southampton for the West African coast, taking in some of the most celebrated sights in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Senegal and Morocco, as well as stopping off in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on the return voyage.

Caveat: The itinerary includes an invigorating range of shore excursions, and passengers are advised to ensure they bring appropriate footwear.

The Theme: Commemorate the history of the two World Wars with Saga cruises.

Dates:22 July 2014.

Details: Set sail with Saga Cruises aboard the comfortable and well appointed Saga Pearl II, and cruise the north coast of Europe, remembering the history of the two World Wars and the great sacrifices made. Sailing from historic Dover, the ship will wind its way to the rocky islands of Heligoland, where the Royal Navy and the German High Seas Fleet first clashed in the First World War, all the way to the port of Dunkirk, where the flotilla of “little ships” plucked the BEF from the beaches. Along the way you will be able to head ashore and visit the beautiful cities of Antwerp and Ostend, as well as their Art Museums, markets and Cathedrals. You will also be able to experience the history, art, culture and romance of Amsterdam, Holland's capital city and learn more about the Dutch resistance, and visit the stark remnants of the German Atlantic Wall. Once on board you will be welcomed by a cocktail party and captain's dinner, to make you at home on board, as the ship begins its voyage. A must for history lovers and an excellent opportunity to honour the sacrifices of the past, this cruise will show you a whole new side of Europe all in the luxury of your own cabin.

Caveat: Remember to dress warmly for the chill winds of the North Sea.

The Theme: Revisit the Scene of the Normandy Landings with Avalon Waterways.

Dates: 22 July 2014.

Details: Cruise the rivers of northern Europe and celebrate the allied liberation of France from occupation during World War 2. Passengers can board the ship for a week long cruise that will pay homage to the soldiers' journey through France – boarding the Creativity, in Paris and heading towards Vernon – taking in Rouen, Les Andelys and Auvers sur Ouse. Passengers will be joined aboard by a series of guest lecturers who will, through a series of onboard lectures and shore excursions, help them to understand the history of the region and the war-time connections that made the region such a key wartime battlefield.

Caveat: Details of this cruise will be finalised in April 2013 – please check the Avalon Waterways website for up to date details of the lecture programme and speakers.

The Theme: Enjoy fine Microbrews and the stunning East Coast with Crystal Cruises.

Dates: 5 November 2014.

Details: Crystal Cruises offers you the chance to see the vaunted East Coast of America, from New York city and the majestic Statue of Liberty, Charlestown in South Carolina with its rich history of wars and revolutions, all the way to the vibrant heat of Miami in Florida. While aboard the Crystal Serenity you will also be able to enjoy Crystal Cruises Microbrew Theme, which will guide you through the local beers and wines of the American coastline, with wine experts, sommeliers and expert chiefs all on hand to make your culinary tour all the better. As you travel in this luxury, you will also be able to dine beneath the lights of New York, as well as see the city from the sky by helicopter. In Brooklyn you will be able to head ashore and sample the best of the local cuisine, while on the island of Grand Turk you will be able to take to the topaz waters of the Caribbean on a power snorkelling trip. Tours of the stunning islands of the Caribbean are available, by jeep, boat and dune buggy, meaning that passengers will be able to experience the varied geography of this cruise, from the rough and rugged East Coast, to the soft and warm sands of the Caribbean. A prime opportunity to experience the food and drink of the America's from the comfort of your cabin, this cruise is not one to be missed.

Caveat:Book shore excursions well in advance to avoid disappointment!

The Theme: Sail the Seine to the D-Day Landing beaches with Avalon Cruises

Dates: 24th March 2015.

Details: Few locations in the world are as iconic and significant as the vast expanse of sand and battered bunkers of the Normandy beaches, where the vast D-Day invasion made landfall. With this cruise from Avalon Cruises you can pair these historic sights with the elegance and culture of Paris and Rouen, ancient centres of art and cuisine all grouped along the banks of the mighty Seine. Aboard the Avalon Creativity you will cruise all the way down one of Frances' greatest waterways, from the bright lights and soaring architecture of the capital to Caudebec, from where you will be driven to the beaches of Normandy, an opportunity which makes this cruise a must for history lovers. Along the way there will be a wide range of excursions for travellers to choose from, such as onboard pastry courses, trips to Bizy Castle, see Rouen's great cathedral and astronomical clock, and visit Napoleon and Josephine's Chateau of Malmaison. This river cruise is a remarkable opportunity for students of culture and history to see a rich cross section of France's varied history, all from the comfort of your own cabin.

Caveat:Be sure to bring a camera so as not to miss out on the iconic sights and locations of Paris, Rouen and Omaha beach!

TV, Film and Radio Cruises

The Theme: Meet Nickelodeon characters on Norwegian Cruise Line's cruises

Dates: Year-round cruises on selected ships.

Details: As family entertainment goes, getting to meet favourite Nickelodeon characters such as Sponge Bob Squarepants, Dora the explorer, the fairly-odd parents and the stars of iCarly, makes for quite a special cruise. Passengers traveling aboard the Norwegian Epic or the Norwegian Jewel will be able to mingle with the Nickelodeon stars as well as take part in special onboard games and activities, such as singing and dancing, watching exclusive premieres of Nickelodeon TV shows and taking part in the channel's signature ‘slime time' game show. These children's activities are intended to help bring families together over long cruises, giving them plenty of opportunities to play together as well as providing some time alone for parents.

Fitness and Wellness Cruises

The Theme: Wellbeing spa holiday aboard Costa Cruises

Dates: Multiple cruises on selected Costa ships in 2014.

Details: Everyone knows that the sea air is good for you, but Costa Cruises has gone one further with the introduction of their health and wellness cruises, aimed at giving passengers the full spa treatment to make their holiday that bit more relaxing. Passengers can book a place on the Wellness programme aboard the Costa Mediterranea or the Costa Atlantica, while passengers traveling on the Costa Magica, Costa Fortuna, Costa Victoria, and Costa Classica can also partake in therapeutic ‘Harmony and Relaxation' treatments. Guests can also visit the exclusive Samsara Spas aboard selected ships.

Caveat: Watch out for treatments that cost extra or that aren't included under the wellness package.

The Theme: Relax and Rejuvenate with MSC Cruises

Dates: Multiple cruises on selected MSC Cruises' ships in 2014.

Details: MSC Cruises want you to have a more balanced experience aboard their ships and are encouraging passengers to replenish both their bodies and their minds in one of their onboard Aurea spas. There are a number of packages for people looking to incorporate the spa experience more fully into their cruise. Passengers on the MSC Divina, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra and the MSC Musica, can enjoy a Wellness package for two, including massages and special treatments, while single gentlemen or ladies travelling on these ships can consider a male or female only spa experience.

Caveat: Be careful to keep an eye on what treatments are included under the spa packages and remember that extra treatments may cost extra.

Other Themes

The Theme: Murder Mysteries on the High Seas

Dates: Various dates throughout 2014

Details: Whodunit Productions will be stepping onboard a variety of Royal Caribbean ships to bring a sense of mystery and intrigue to your cruise. With comical shows and performances, you will have the chance to solve murder mysteries at sea. This is not one for the meek, as you will be given your own character to play. All cruises leave from America and are priced in U.S. dollars.

The Theme: Enjoy the famed Christmas markets of Germany on this festive themed Avalon Cruise.

Dates:14th December 2015

Details: What better way could there be to celebrate the coming of Christmas than to take in the joviality and festive charm of the famed Christmas markets of Germany? With Avalon Cruises you can do just this, as the luxurious Avalon Vista will be winding its way down the peaceful Rhine from the beautiful city of Frankfurt to Basel, taking in the beautiful landscape, wintery treats and of course rich Glühwein along the way. From Frankfurt you will sail to Heidelberg, home of the world's largest barrel of wine, the fifty eight thousand gallon Great Vat, as well as the imposing ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Here you will explore a Christmas market spread over five picturesque squares through the city. Strasbourg in France is the host of your next market, one of the oldest in all Europe, and here you will be able to enjoy fine bistros in the French district, as well as the majesty of Strasbourg Cathedral. Before you finally reach the splendour of Basel, you will see the rugged splendour of the Black Forest, as well as its famed cakes, hams and peaceful wooden towns, such as Breisach the location of your final market. This festive cruise is a perfect trip for those wishing to immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit.

Caveat:These Christmas cruises are extremely popular, so be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment!

--by Joshua Thomas, Cruise Critic U.K. Contributor

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